The Wilson Times

Monday, January 31, 2011 12:45 AM

13-year-old mystery: Wilson woman turns up dead in Nash field
Wilson Times, police explore unsolved cases

By Gina Childress | Times Staff Writer

Just because they aren't the "hot topic" of conversation any longer, and years may have passed since their occurrence, doesn't mean Wilson police have forgotten about their unsolved cases.

In an effort to bring attention and possibly bring a resolution to some of these cases, investigators are partnering with The Wilson Times to feature one "cold case" a week for the next several months.

Officials said even though a detective originally assigned to a case may have been reassigned or left the department, it doesn't mean the case has been put in a drawer, locked away and forgotten.

"The Wilson Police Department is dedicated to every investigation," said Eric Kearney, major case detective. "With our cold case homicides, we are keenly aware of the families that are left to deal with these tragedies. Our obligation to each of these cases and the families helps direct our need to remind the citizens that we need their assistance in solving these ongoing investigations."

Investigators hope that by highlighting these cases and refreshing the public's memory, they will be able to bring closure to a family.

"Hopefully, with enough persistence and effort, we can arrest the person(s) that are responsible for the death of a family's loved one(s)," Kearney said. "Although time may pass, each homicide is never inactivated but maintained in a pending status until a resolution is met."

He said police understand and empathize with families and want to be able to provide the answers they need to help them find closure and bring the person or persons responsible to justice.


Nakia Shamone Bynum

One of the older cases that has remained unsolved took place in 1997 and was a joint investigation by the Nash County Sheriff's Office and the Wilson Police Department.

Detective J. Bradshaw took over the case some time ago.

According to the report, Nakia Shamone Bynum, then 21, who at the time resided on Broad Street, was last seen during the early evening hours on Aug. 25, 1997 leaving behind her 18-month-old child.

At the time of her disappearance, investigators interviewed a baby sitter who reported Bynum missing. She stated Bynum dropped off her baby for her to watch while Bynum ran a few quick errands. This was around 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 25, 1997.

Bynum never returned and was never heard from again.

From Aug. 25 to Sept. 9, 1997 investigators with the Wilson Police Department searched for Bynum.

On Sept. 9, a farmer, tending his tobacco field, discovered Bynum's body. The field is on Benton Road near N.C. 58 and N.C. 97 near Sandy Crossroads in the southern part of Nash County. At the time, Nash County investigators revealed Bynum's body was found in the fetal position, fully clothed inside of a cardboard box. Because her body was "badly decomposed" the medical examiner identified Bynum through her dental records. Because of the condition of her remains, no cause of death was identified or released at that time.

Anyone having information about Nakia Shamone Bynum's disappearance or death is asked to contact Detective J. Bradshaw at the Wilson Police Department at 399-2323. | 265-7821

©The Wilson Times, Wilson, North Carolina.
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